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Old November 11th, 2003, 05:48 AM   #1
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Location: United Kingdom
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a salutary lesson

It can happen to the best of us. I was filming for the Discovery Channel last year: on my own with a PD150. I was doing the scouting research at Mount Rushmore.

I had been there for a couple of days and done all the filming I really needed to but had not pursuaded the ranger to allow me up to the actual heads. There was lots of flannel about not spoiling visitors pictures and about the dangers of climbing loose rocks etc... anyway I eventually managed to persuade him to take me up - right on the last day before I was due to fly to Washington DC and then back to London.

I was absolutely thrilled and we arranged to meet at 5am (before most vistors were up) and set off to climb the 800 odd feet to the venerable heads. I had my camera and film and everything was fine. Eventually we found ourselves on top of Washington's head with nothing but one of Borglum's rusty winches in front of us, the South Dakotan Black Hills stretching away beneath. I whipped out my trusty PD150 and started her up - about 3 seconds later the camera powered down... dead battery! No problem I thought I've got the spare... but no! It was in the pocket of my raincoat.... in the car...

Absolutley gutted and not wanting to seem like the total fool I was - I carried on - pretending to film for the sake of the ranger... I had to prefusly thank him - although I knew it had been a huge waste of time!

On getting back to the office... we all watched precisely two seconds of Washington's superbly controured nose before the picture dissappeared!

My advice? Always make sure you have everything before setting off!

Can anyone top this idiocy? Or am I the only one?
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Old November 11th, 2003, 06:05 AM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Hampshire, England
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Man what a story.

A recent idiocy of mine...

I was filming a christening with a Sony trv900. I had not checked the camera before the event. I was saying to myself it'll be OK, it was working a couple of weeks ago, no need to worry!!! So I went along, I was 10 minutes late, and the ceremony had started, there was no time to check everything was working, and I forgot to bring some headphones. Thinking that if I put everything into auto it would work fine. However when I returned home to start editing I found that it had recorded no sound. I was completely gob smacked that I could do a thing like that. I later found out that there was a problem with the onboard microphone.

Luckily I was able to use some footage from another camera, and lip sync with mine.

What a complete twat I was.

Morale of the story... take 2 or more cameras, and check that everything works before hand.

This could be a good thread.


Ed Smith
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Old November 11th, 2003, 10:11 AM   #3
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Every once in a while, I will accidently hit the record button, then when I throw the camera up to get a shot, I push the record button again. (shutting it off of course)
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Old November 11th, 2003, 11:43 AM   #4
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A number of years ago I was shooting a a performance form a church balcony. The light was dim, I felt sure I had everything right. After just a few minutes, the end of tape message came on. When I ejected the tape, to my horror I had put in a head cleaning tape. I put in the right tape, the camera recorded perfectly. Now I have a Small LED flashlight about the size of a quarter that fits on my key chain, I find it very usefull.
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Old November 11th, 2003, 11:45 AM   #5
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Ah, the horror, the horror...

I just got through filming an event at the Sun-n-Fun Air Museum last weekend with my PD-150 (Young Eagles going on their first flight in a helo) - and I forgot my headphones as well.

Like Ed, I thought "no problem. I'll just put it in auto and all will be well." The least I could have done was pull up the level meter on the display and check levels, but in the rush, I forgot.


Four hours of video with no audio.

Luckily, most of the audio I *would* have recorded was just ambient chatter and aircraft engines, so I can dub in some generic crowd noise and I'll have to hang at the airport this weekend for an hour or so with the DAT to record some aircraft and ground traffic ambient. The rest is going to be V/O, so--whew! that was close...

Another lesson learned the hard way...

Phil Reams
Timeless Studio Productions
Clearwater, Florida

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